No matter what happened, there is always a good procedure for what to do next…
Nerves are on edge, questions are looming, and the details of what is going to happen next are completely up in the air. After an accident, your whole world can feel like it’s coming to an end. Here’s some advice to help you be prepared in advance and, thus, make handling the situation less stressful if it actually happens.
Immediately After the Car Accident
Number one: Take a deep breath and stay calm.
- Check for injuries and call an ambulance if anyone is uncertain of the damage.
- As long as it does not pose any safety hazards or go against the authorities, if you feel you were not at fault, be sure to take photographs prior to moving the vehicle.
- Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights and use cones, warning triangles or flares for safety.
Secure Your Situation and Get Help
- If someone needs immediate medical attention, call 911. If you do not have a phone, ask someone nearby.
- If your car is drivable, carefully move it out of the flow of traffic to the shoulder or to a parking lot. A wreck that blocks traffic could create more collisions.
- Call the police station if your car and/or debris are blocking the roadway at all. Some local laws require this.
File an Accident Report with the Police
Even in a minor accident it is important to make sure there is a legal accident report. Do not leave the scene until the police arrive, unless instructed to do so by police. If police are not present, or if they elect not to make a report, go to the police station and file one so there is a record of the incident and any damages.
Before Leaving the Scene, Gather Information
After the emergencies have been addressed and you are in a safe location, record information regarding the accident. Details could be important to process your auto insurance claim or in order to determine who is at fault. Also:
- If the police arrive and write a report, obtain the report number.
- Do not admit fault. Even if you think you caused the accident. It could be used against you later and other circumstances may surface that show you were not entirely to blame.
- Talk to other drivers involved in the accident and exchange information including insurance company names and phone numbers and member/policy numbers. Record the name of all drivers involved, the number of passengers in each vehicle, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and other vehicles’ year, make, model. Share the same information about yourself. Take photographs if you are able.
- Other than basic contact information and policy number, don’t disclose details about your auto insurance policy, such as coverage limits or lien holders.
- Ask for contact information from others involved in the accident, such as passengers or pedestrians and any witnesses who might be able to verify how the crash happened.
Report the Claim to Your Insurance Agent
And, if necessary, Seek Legal Counsel regarding your car accident
Sometimes accident claims are not a “cut and dry” process and a claimant may require legal assistance in order to ensure that things are managed properly.
In this case, selecting an attorney to represent you should be a smooth, easy process which leaves you feeling calm, protected, and as if you have made the right decision. For help in selecting an attorney, please READ THIS ARTICLE or contact Richard Harris Law Firm at 702-444-4444 for immediate assistance.
Other important tips:
• Do not sign any document unless it is for the police or your insurance agent.
• If the name on an auto registration is different than the driver, jot down the relationship.
• State only the facts, and limit your discussion of the accident to the police and your insurance agent.
• If possible, do not leave the accident scene before the police and other drivers do.
• And for more useful tips on what to do after an accident or how to procure legal representation, visit our blog at https://richardharrislaw.com/blog.